The Booing Issue
|Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 10:21 AM- -|
The Booing Issue
Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile 's comments yesterday and I knew it would create a lot of conversation among Tiger fans. This morning on my radio show it was a topic that dominated all three hours.
I rarely sit on the fence on any subject. It is part of my job to provide opinions. And while I personally don't boo college athletes, I do see both sides of the discussion.
Fans do pay a lot of money. Fans do have the right to express their opinions.
The head coach has told them that the program plays to a standard and I understand the disappointment when that standard is not met.
I understand the frustration of many by what the offense has looked like at times this season.
I also think that coaches shouldn't tell fans how to react. Their job is to coach. The fans' job is to react.
On the other hand, I do think you should not boo a student-athlete. He is an amateur.
I especially believe in the Clemson family and the family aspect of our program. Swinney preaches family and many prospects comment on how Clemson feels different because it feels like family. Remember many of our players did not come from the perfect backgrounds and Clemson is the best example they have of what a family can look like.
I also know that Swinney was talking to his players in this press conference. Tigernet had an article up last night getting players' reaction to his comments and the players liked that their head coach had their backs.
I realize Swinney was talking to the players' families and the families of future prospects too. I would think it would resonate well in homes when a head coach can tell a prospect that he has your back.
And I realize that Saturday is Senior Day and booing a player on this special day as he runs down the hill for this event would be classless in my opinion.
We all know that perception is reality in today's world. I can see about 70,000 in the stands Saturday and if 69, 500 fans don't boo, the perception is the 500 that do will represent the feelings of the fan base.
But the bottom line to me on the subject is perspective. The student-athlete and the head coach at a place like Clemson have to understand the culture. Dabo Swinney played and coached at Alabama. There is no more critical place to coach or play than Alabama. Maybe Swinney has forgotten this or maybe the age of social media has changed perception, but at Alabama the fans are more die hard and more critical than any place in the country.
Guess what? This is how it is in major college football. This past weekend an Ohio State running back fumbled twice. Despite winning the game, that player received death threats. No one should have to endure that, but it is an example that this goes on in a sport that is this wildly popular.
I had a call on the radio show today that said it happened to Notre Dame's quarterback this past weekend. My point to all future student-athletes is be aware of this. If you are going to take the positives of playing in a big-time program, then you also have to deal with the negative aspects.
Dabo Swinney knows this. He has a great job at a top 20 type of program. If you recruit and say how important Clemson football is and how big the program can be, then we also need to be prepared when it goes south.
Swinney should not be shocked that people might boo. This is big time football. If the players want to eliminate the chance of negative reactions from rabid fans they can transfer to a place where football isn't as important. The pressure is greater at Ohio State than it is Miami, OH.
Finally, I think
Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
#18 6-4, 231
View Full Profile has been a victim of expectations. If Watson would have been the starter earlier in the year many fans would chalk up Stoudt's poor play up to him being the backup quarterback. If Watson had been the man all along and got injured, Stoudt's performances would have been less criticized because expectations are always lower for the backup or the less talented player.
But we were told that Stouudt was the better player and he gave us the best chance to win even four weeks into the season. The fans could see it but we were still told Stoudt was the man, not Watson. Therefore the expectations on Stoudt were higher than if he would have simply been the backup. Mark my words, if
Nick SchuesslerNick Schuessler
RS So. Quarterback
#12 6-3, 195
View Full Profile comes in and doesn't play well Saturday the reaction would not be harsh. After all, he is a backup.
In summary, boo if you have to. It won't be the end of the world. I won't boo a student-athlete, especially one that chooses Clemson, especially on Senior Day.
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